Why Fans (Should) Love Matchbox Twenty – North

After a lengthy break from the limelight, Matchbox Twenty have found a new kind of form with their comeback effort…

Confession: I’m a massive fan of MB20 and the various offshoots, side projects or permutations thereof…

So kindly think of this as neither a review, nor as fanboy rhetoric (if you can help it). These are just my thoughts on an album I’ve been psyching myself up to adore for a mighty long time…

North is exactly what you’d expect a MB20 album to sound like in 2012. In the past, they’ve found favour as the soulful and swooning cousins of the likes of Bon Jovi. But now the old scene has all but become extinct, replaced by the likes of The Killers and Maroon 5. Of course, Rob Thomas and co predate these acts, but their ability to effortlessly cosy up to the mainstream is not to be ignored (even if this cosiness isn’t always reflected in the band’s popularity).

The songs are still distinctly MB20, with the added bonus that the writing has become more equally divided between Messrs Thomas, Cook and Doucette. So it’s a more widely influenced album, tailored to blend in with the current crop of musicians. Besides, it’s been a long time since the likes of Rest Stop came out to delight us. The recording and production guides have been well and truly re-written and this is reflected in this latest album.

The simple truth is that the purists may refer to North as pandering to the whimsy of the charts, holding on to any comparison that makes MB20 sound vaguely popular. In truth, though, it’s not that different from its predecessors. It’s a potent mix of the best of the past with the necessities of the new. It’s Matchbox Twenty and, as pointed out by the lovely Gary-Jay Bourley, by golly it’s good. Hopefully the wait won’t be so long next time…

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2 thoughts on “Why Fans (Should) Love Matchbox Twenty – North

  1. Listening to it for the 3rd time already – love it!!! Very ‘conformist’ kind of pop/rock, is how I’d view it. That’s my way of agreeing to the ‘pandering to the whimsy of the charts”

  2. Thought you might! I’d suggest checking out songs like “Rest Stop”, “3am” and “Black and White People” for a glimpse at their back catalogue – that’ll show you the extent to which they’ve stayed the same, but had to compromise a little on sound…

    Oh, and “If you’re gone” is quite lovely, too…

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